A little slice of the British Isles, right in downtown Camas. Coventry Gardens will delight the homesick Brit and entice all those with international wanderlust. They are a second generation florist, serving customers for more than 40 years, designing with a touch of European flair.

The “shoppe” is unique in that it’s a floral design studio with a British tea boutique, featured in gift baskets and artfully designed European dish gardens.

How did it come to be in downtown Camas you ask? Coventry Gardens blossomed from its original birthplace of Hermiston, Oregon, where it was originally Cottage Flowers. Rachel Bakker grew up in that small Oregon town, “with values and close community connections,” which she said inspired her as a business owner. Her mother ran the family business there and chose to retire in 2015.

“It was only natural that I kept the business going,” Rachel said. “It was a lifelong trade and talent of mine, and I had spent years prior in business courses with entrepreneurism in my blood.” Before taking over the family business, Rachel said she encouraged her “mum” to relocate to Camas. “I have always felt the draw to relocate here, as if it were my ‘no place like home.’”

As she took on the family business and relocated to Camas, she focused on the changing times of the floral industry through the decades … and family values. “I have seen my mum face many changes in the floral industry and realized with the current times, retail floor space is of less value than social media and internet business,” Rachel said. “However, my core is true to community and therefore I had to find a balance. The balance would be a studio space, one in which I could still operate with walk-in face-to-face business and connection, yet the core of sales operating within the convenience and new culture lifestyle of the internet. These changes were motivated by my family values. I have two children, and they take the forefront in my life, and the flexibility of studio hours and web site business allow me to be ‘mum’ first.”

Rachel said she finds common qualities of her Camas customers, they share her same values … “good old fashioned, one-on-one customer service, personal and catered.” She said Coventry Gardens is not a platform for quick, last minute pick-ups, but a service-based business focused on the sincere sentiments of sending flowers, planters and events.

“We take care and pride in honoring life’s experiences that come with the giving and receiving of flowers,” Rachel said. “Joys and sorrows are our business.”

So how do they build a rapport with their customers? “We listen, we care, we follow through with florals and planters that match the sentiments sending, and let us not forget the taste of Britain that resonates when you visit our British tea boutique, sparking thoughts of one’s own ‘across the pond’ past memories or future desires,” Rachel said.

Those memories and the fondness for all things British is an important aspect of keeping a vibrant store front at Coventry Gardens, Rachel explained. “It’s the enjoyment of those stopping in and sharing their love and stories of Britain and the intimate connection expressed when sending sentiments with florals and planters.”

Her inspiration for the British theme of the business? “That’s simple … family legacy and heritage, combined with my own desire for the culture and art of European designs and the ‘flavour’ of Britain.”

When you visit Coventry Gardens, you’re treated to a beautiful array of fresh cut flowers to choose from. They offer a free “cuppa” tea and British Magazines to browse while you wait for your custom design to be made. You can smell the roses and imagine Big Ben sounding the bells. All in downtown Camas.